USA quits United Nations human rights body, citing bias vs Israel, alarming critics

USA quits United Nations human rights body, citing bias vs Israel, alarming critics

USA quits United Nations human rights body, citing bias vs Israel, alarming critics

"While we have seen improvements in certain human rights situations, for far too long we have waited while that progress comes too slowly or in some cases, never comes", Pompeo said.

The Trump administration is under intense criticism from business groups, human rights organizations and lawmakers from both parties over the recently imposed policy.

A group of 12 organisations including Save the Children, Freedom House and the United Nations Association-USA said that even though that there have been few concerns about the working of the UN Human Rights Council, it did not warrant US's complete withdrawal.

The United States threatened to leave the council a year ago citing similar reasons.

Formed in 2006, the council has been criticised for allowing countries with questionable human rights records to be members.

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The Trump administration has already pulled the United States out of a number of major internaional organizations and deals, including the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal, as well as the UN's educational and cultural organizations.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley will make the announcement at a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington at 5:00 pm (2100 GMT).

Speaking from the State Department, where she was joined by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Haley defended the move to withdraw from the council, saying U.S. calls for reform were not heeded.

The United States has always had a conflicting relationship with the UN Human Rights Council. Israel's ambassador in Geneva, Aviva Raz Shechter, castigated the council for "spreading lies against Israel".

On Monday, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein criticized Washington over the "unconscionable" policy of separating children of immigrants who cross the border illegally and holding them in detention centers.

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Speaking to the Human Rights Council, Mr Johnson said that its dedicated agenda item on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories was "disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace". And we will continue to strongly advocate a reform of the UN Human Rights Council.

American allies on the council tried to persuade Washington to stay onboard, saying that America's membership gives the organization its last shred of credibility.

Israel is the only country that is subject to a permanent standing agenda item, meaning its treatment of the Palestinians is regularly scrutinised.

"Many of the world's worst human rights offenders were elected to the seats on the Commission".

The George W. Bush administration boycotted the council at its inception, but the Obama administration made a decision to "re-engage" with the body in 2009.

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Among changes the United States had been seeking was to make it easier to kick out member state with egregious rights records.

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